Ten Commandments

After the horrific killings in Newtown, a lot of conversation has centered on the cause of the incident. Most of it has been disappointingly predictable and centered on guns. Many liberals have talked about the need for additional gun controls while being unable to name a single control that would have prevented this tragedy. Conservatives have talked about the need for teachers to be armed to protect their students.

Gun control wouldn’t have prevented this (indeed a story from China about the knifing of 22 children shows the folly of it), a pistol packing teacher  mitigated the tragedy. Neither would have prevented it. We’re dealing with a type of evil deep-seated with the heart of our nation.

The problem comes down to this: We are no longer a  God-fearing nation. This is not to say that we are atheists or agnostics, far from it. And this is not a Jerry Falwell style, “Atheists, agnostics, abortionists, and homosexuals caused 9/11” rant.

In some ways, the non-religious person is more honest than many American professed Christians. Americans serve a designer God, a convenient God who fits their needs.  We want a God who approves everything we do, who calls us to nothing higher. We want a Santa Claus in the sky who will help us out.  We want a God who allows us to be comfortable, who allows us to fit in. We want a God who is flexible enough to change with our times.

Or perhaps we just want a God whose up there but stays out of our business.

This isn’t the God of the Bible. This isn’t the God of our Founding Fathers. This God is an amorphous blob, an impressionist painting splattered on the wall that can be whatever you want it to be.  We are a nation with no fear or reverence for God.  God is merely a mascot and symbol we use in pursuit of what we want.

In prior generations, people would avoid even taking God’s name in vain and would apologize if they did. Now, “OMG!” is a frequent throw away phrase on chat. ” Today, God is sport for the denizens of Comedy Central and Hollywood make of Christ and His sacrifice.

We are surrounded by an entire culture from every generation that treats God as either non-existent or irrelevant whether its politics, business, or entertainment, the story is the same.

The question ultimately is whether a culture that dishonors God in sexual relations, in marriages, in the workplace, in child rearing methods, in education, in politics, in business practices, and in every other area of life can truly expect anyone or anything else to be treated as sacred. As long as we are a nation that tells people that it comes to morals that God doesn’t care and that you can, “Make it up as you go,” then we can expect that some of this improvisation will end up hurting people who will in turn hurt others.

We like to feel powerful, like there’s .  In politics, our leaders like to think they can do something to fix every problem. We like to think there’s a simple way we can fix things. Even comic book writers do it. J Michael Straczynski and his fans have come up with their own seven point  proposal. There has to be some amazing magic legislation that can avoid this.

However, to paraphrase Ecclesiastes, “Of writing many blog posts, there is no end…Fear God and keep His Commandments.” That advice isn’t popular, but it’s the only that will work. And the implementation doesn’t begin in Washington DC or some state Capital. It begins in your house and mine which makes easier and harder too, but it’s the only thing that will work.

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  1. Conservatives have talked about the need for teachers to be armed to protect their students.

    Giving every single teacher in the U.S. a gun is just plain ridiculous. I mean, how many unstable teachers do you think there are out there? I think both liberals and conservatives have their blind spots on this issue, along with a lot of black-and-white thinking. Now, certainly the school authorities should have guns. Even better would be to hire a full-time security guard, but money would probably be the limiting factor there.

    Gun control wouldn’t have prevented this (indeed a story from China about the knifing of 22 children shows the folly of it), a pistol packing teacher mitigated the
    tragedy. Neither would have prevented it.

    First off, I’m opposed to gun control. But if Lanza hadn’t been able to load so many rounds into his gun at one time, and hadn’t been able to purchase as much ammunition at one time, would as many people have perished? Also, citing the guy in China to make your argument doesn’t make much sense. Did anybody die in that incident? I don’t think so–they were all wounded, but nobody died. If the guy in China had had the exact same weapon and ammunition as Lanza, do you actually think nobody would have died?

    Again, I’m against gun control, but at the same time I am dismayed at the way many conservatives seem to have an idolatry of guns and think that even questioning whether any types of ammunition should be prohibited is simply heresy.

    Let’s ask this question. What was the intent of our Founding Fathers when they devised the Second Amendment? I would say:

    1) To provide for self-defense.

    2) To provide for a means of hunting.

    Now let’s ask this: Why do we need to be able to load 20 rounds at once into a gun in the first place? Or to be able to purchase a ton of ammunition all at once? Is that simply about self-defense or hunting? I don’t think so. It sounds a lot more like offense to me, something I don’t think the Founding Fathers ever intended.

  2. Oh, I just wanted to say that I do agree with your main point that creating a God-fearing nation is the most important step of all.

  3. Here’s something written by an Indiana pastor on another Web site that I think is relevant here:

    The Idolatry of Guns

    Do we as Christians in America participate in and support a culture of gun idolatry?

    That is the question I find myself asking today as I continue to work
    my way through James Atwood’s book – America and Its Guns. This book
    asks some very important questions regarding our theology of guns and
    the unique gun culture of the United States. In chapter three he starts
    off with this statement issued by the Presbyterian Church back in the

    “The religious community must take seriously the risk of
    idolatry that could result from an unwarranted fascination with guns
    that overlooks or ignores the social consequences of their misuse.”

    A love of guns and violence is not unique to our country, yet the
    culture of gun worship, the protection of gun ownership and the rate of
    gun violence are unique. Is there a problem with idolatry of guns in our
    country. I am going to go out on a limb here (no worry it is a short,
    stocky and strong limb, much like me) and say that indeed gun worship is
    prevalent in our country. Is it prevalent in the church? Well it is at
    least present in certain segments of the church. In many ways it does
    feel prevalent, but that isn’t really the issue.

    The bigger question for me is this. Why have I never heard a single
    sermon, Bible Study, or read a single book in all my years in the
    church that talks about the danger of gun idolatry? Is this something
    you would agree with from your experience? Does this seem like a
    legitimate problem? I would love some other perspectives on this.

  4. A person with a gun can kill more quickly than a person with a knife, so yes, while gun control would not have prevented murder, it would have reduced the number of casualties.

    “We want a Santa Claus in the sky who will help us out.” – So, you’re admitting that he isn’t real then? God, I mean.

    “the God of our Founding Fathers.” – There is no God of the founding fathers. They are secularist at best.

    1. “We want a Santa Claus in the sky who will help us out.” – So, you’re admitting that he isn’t real then? God, I mean.

      It’s important not to take this sentence out of context. Nowhere did Adam imply, much less say, that God is not real. He is simply warning us about making God in our own image, kind of like the lares of the ancient Romans. 😉

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